Drug Crimes And Sentence Enhancements

Indiana's drug laws are tough. Possession alone can result in jail time, steep fines or both. And many prosecutors will try to increase the possible penalties by enhancing the charges based on different factors provided by Indiana law. Drug possession defendants often end up facing far more serious penalties than they expected because of sentencing enhancements available under the law.

Common Factors Leading To Enhanced Drug Sentences

The details surrounding a drug arrest are important. Here are some of the factors that can lead to enhanced charges, a higher sentence or both:

  • Possession of a weapon, especially a firearm. It may not matter whether the firearm was intended to be used or even seen by others. Just having the weapon can significantly increase the sentence penalties.
  • Type of drug. The type of drug or controlled substance allegedly involved in the case can affect the level of the charged offenses and the possible penalties.
  • Possessing large quantities of a drug. Specific amounts vary by drug. But as quantities increase, prosecutors are more likely to pursue charges of drug dealing (intent to distribute) in addition to possession.
  • Location. If charged with dealing drugs, the penalties may be sharply increased if the defendant was caught dealing near a school, playground or similar location.
  • The presence of minor victims or witnesses. Drug sentences may be increased if the defendant was allegedly selling to a minor or was observed selling by minors.
  • Financing or agreeing to finance the manufacture of drugs.
  • Criminal history. Someone with previous convictions (for any crimes) may be given a harsher sentence based on those prior convictions. If the previous convictions were for the same types of crime (felony drug convictions, for instance), the defendant may be given a much harsher sentence, and felony drug convictions may cause someone to be considered a habitual offender for certain subsequent felony charges.

The details of your alleged offense matter for charging and sentencing purposes, but they also matter when it comes to your defense. At DeVries + Kelly, our legal team will examine every aspect of your case to determine if evidence was collected illegally or if police overstepped their authority in some other way. As a former deputy prosecutor, founding attorney Scott A. DeVries knows how prosecutors build cases and how those cases may be vulnerable to scrutiny.

Call Our Indianapolis Firm For A Free Consultation

To discuss your case and learn how we may be able to help you, call DeVries + Kelly at 317-643-5918 locally. You can also request an appointment via email. With offices in Indianapolis and Hamilton County, we serve throughout the state. Initial consultations in the area of criminal defense are always free.